One of the biggest ways I believe friendships change these days is when someone doesn’t move forward with the changing times of how we communicate now.
A clear example is present in my own life – I send a text and don’t get a reply. I am not looking to start a long-running conversation. I have sent warm thoughts, I have sent a health update, and yes I have sent a distress signal. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to live inside my brain to announce to my gray matter that I am low on the priority list of this person. One day I tried to send a photo I knew they would like, they had cancelled their data plan. I was really sad about this because it was something I wanted to share as well as a way we had shared in the past.
Texting is the way we communicate in this day and age. Like it or not, it is here to stay. My husband and I text each other sometimes even in the same home. It saves me steps or trying to get his attention when he is busy and doesn’t hear me. I text the entire generation of 40-something friends. Yes, we do call on the phone now and then, but mainly we text.
Teenagers – it’s the only way to talk. I ask my 15-year-old twin grand daughters why they don’t call me and their answer is “we don’t like talking on the phone.” We text and they are really good at spelling out words – I do “speak” text but I let them think I don’t – lol.
I know that we lose emotions in texting and emailing. I get that, and unfortunately sometimes text and email wording can come across the wrong way or be taken the wrong way. That’s what smiley faces were invented for along with knowing some text jargon so you can let people know what emotional level you were coming from when you “talked” to them.
In real estate, our profession, we have been told for at least 5 years now it is the way people want to be contacted in transactions. Case and point, my husband did an entire deal mostly by texts while we were on a trip to Las Vegas. Yes in between gambling, fine dining, shopping and shows a nice deal went down.
While I started writing this blog to talk about how friendships change when a friend doesn’t embrace the social networking (texting included) way of communicating, a business life can suffer too. I know two women who have a very nice clothing boutique here in the area. They do everything on paper. They don’t have computers. They don’t know how to use one, therefore they are missing the boat of making even more money. They don’t have a website so they cannot blog, or send emails about sales, they rely on a dieing industry-print ads in the local paper. This is an enormous expense as well.
Deciding to not move forward in this new electronic world does hurt friendships and business relationships. Worse yet when you don’t reply to someone no matter how they reach out to you, that’s just rude. When I am busy and cannot start a text conversation I at least acknowledge the text and I let them know I will get with them as soon as I can. 3 days of no reply pushes the limit on getting back to someone when all you are looking for maybe is a simple thumbs up, an electronic hug, or how about this one; a smile for sending them warm wishes.